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fat things," – Civil government will not cease; it is the ordinance of God, and while society remains, is essential for the inaintenance of order ; but rulers, by whatever name they may be distinguished, or with whatever authority they may be invested, will then no longer abuse their power, seek their own ad. vancement, or injure religion by their wicked examples and iniquitous policy. Animated by the Spirit of Christ, they will be his servants, and promote the glory of God, the bonour of the Saviour, and the happiness of mankind. Crimes will be extinct in the same proportion that covetousness, pride and revenge are subdued. 6. The wickedness of the wicked will come to an end, wher love, gentleness, goodness, and all the fruits of the Spirit abound. Peace will prevail, peace with God and peace with
66 Wars will cease unto the ends of the earth." Then “ they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks ; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." The effects of temperance will be health and great longevity. An active and useful life will be crowned with a serene and fruitful old
Individuals, families, and nations, by believing in Jesus and obeying his word, will be exempted from the calamities produced by una sanctified passions, and the world be blessed under the reign of Messiah.
2. When will the Millennium commence? This is the next in, quiry. AH the predictions concerning that happy period, refer it to the close of the New Testament dispensation. It is to be in the latter days, in the last times. The mountain is the last state or form, in which the stone cut out without hands, after destroying the image, is to appear.
But there are indications re, specting the beginning of this period, from which we gather more than probable conjectures : -1. From the uninterrupted order of events, as arranged in the Prophecies. What relates to the Millennium is introduced in the Apocalypse as immediately following the destruction of Babylon or Antichrist; but this destruction we know, from the latest possible date, cannot be beyond the year 1999. The Millennium, therefore, which is the next event in succession, will commence in the year 2000. But,
2. The number “Seven,” so often used in Scripture, appears to have given rise to an ancient calculation, said to be familiar among the Jews long before the coming of Christ :“ Two thousand years before the law (or before Abraham); two thou, sand years under the law; two thousand years under the Messiah ; then cometh the Sabbath.” This, upon the strictest examination, may be found to correspond with what we are autho, rized from Scripture to expect will be realized.
The time employcul in creation; the institution of the Sabbath; the numerous Sabbaths, not only of days, but of weeks and years; all measured by seven, have put a singular mark upon a seventh portion of time from the earliest period of the world,
The same number is sanctioned in the Apocalypse, and rendered peculiarly distinct and remarkable. To this general observation we may apply the argument of Paul to the Hebrews, chap. iv. where he speaks of a great Sabbath or rest, which remaineih for the people of God; and the words of Peter, 2 Epis. chap. iii. where he not only asserts that, “ One day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day with God ;” but reasons upon this calculation of time, to refute scoffers and establish believers in their expectation of the new Heaven and a new Earth.” The most candid and critical exposition of these passages, especially when compared together, and both considered in connection with the peculiar empbasis which God has, throughout his whole word, and in every dispensation of his Church, put upon the number Seven, leads us to conclude, that the seventh millenary period will be as much superior in every thing respecting religion, to all the preceding periods, as the Sabbath excels the ordinary days of labour : That, therefore, the Church may hope that seventh portion of time will be the great Sabbath of the world. With the opening of that period we expect the Millennium will com.
3. The duration of the Millennium, and what from prophecy we learn is to follow that period, include the remaining inquiry upon this subject. From its name it is determined to be a thousand
years. The only question upon this number is, Whether years must be here taken symbolically or literally? If the first, a day for a year, it would amount to the prodigious term of 160,000 years; but it is not here a symbolical number. Smaller things are always used as symbols for greater. Hence days for years
. But years being the greatest periodical revolution known to the ancients, were expressed literally. We are undoubtedly in the Apocalypse to take it thus, and to understand this number as expressing strictly one thousand years; a seventh portion of the great millenary week.
As the Millennium will be immediately preceded by a terrible conflict, which is the last struggle of the Antichristian adversary, called in prophecy the Battle of Armageddon ; so after the thousand years are expirel, Satan, who during that whole period had been bound, will be loosed out of his prison, and new and unexpected troubles will immediately arise in the world. These are said to be conducted by an enemy called Goy and Magog. Ezekiel has plainly foretold and fully described this event. It the Apocalypse the time when it will happen is fixed. The discomfiture of this last adversary, the victory in this last battle in which the Church will ever be involved, closes the scenes of Revelation, as to the state of the Church in this world. It has pleased God not to inform his people what will be the subsequent train of events. It is enough to know that captivity will then be kedd captive, and all but the last enemy, Doaib, be already put under the feet of our conquering Immanuel; but when the whole mystery of salvation will close, when the day of judgment will open, and the dead arise, is not revealed. This no man knowetb, nor may know. How long after the defeat of Gog and Magog, before the blessed Jesus will come to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe, is not declared. From the state of things which appears to be then fully ripened and brought to a crisis, we may conclude, it will not be very long before he will appear the second time, without sin, for the complete and eternal salvation of his redeemed family,
THE RIDICULE OF INFIDELS PREMATURE.
Where is the promise of his coming ? 2 Pet. iii. 4. Infidels may boast that they have got rid of the prejudices of education and the qualms of conscience, but they remain in total uncertainty about futurity, and cannot free themselves from uneasiness and alarm. The Lord has not only promised to come again to judge the world, to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe ; but to take vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel. This fills the unbelieving with apprehension, so that, as Mr. Paine says, when they view it as a truth, they are the mere slaves of terror; their great labour, therefore, is to persuade themselves that it is a falsehood. The apostle Peter tells us, that there should come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, " Where is the promise of his coming ?" This prediction has heen exactly fulfilled, and has received a remarkable accomplish. ment in our times. We have seen scoffers walking after their own lusts, scoffing at God's people, sneering at their belief, laugbing at religion ; with daring presumption, ridiculing the doctrine of a future judgment, saying, “ Where is the promise of his coming ?”
Your ridicule, my fellow-men, is premature, as we shall shew. Your pleasantry on this subject is low indeed, and your wit shallow in the extreme. Your puzzling question is considered by you as a cutting sarcasm on our understandings; as a keen satire on our credulity, and as involving us in an inexplicable dilemma. It is as if you were to say, " Where is the promise or his coming ? What tools to credit so easily a promise so unlikely ever to be fulfilled, whose only use and design seems to be to amuse weak people, or to be a bugbear to frighten children and old women. Yes; his long delay sufficiently indicates, that he has no intention of coming at all, but that his promise has either failed or been forgotten. It should have been accomplishel long ago, if it was ever meant to be accomplished at all. Where is the promise of his coming! How can you who trust in such a deceiver now, pretend to hold up your faces before liberal thinking men, in this enlightened age, and call yourselves his followers ? Defend his character now, if you can, and shew, if that be possible, that he is no impostor, or that your hopes and prospects are good for any thing."- Such seems to be the utmost stretch of the wit couched in your overwhelming sneer. Should we be abashed or confounded by it? I think not.
Your objection is unfounded. When you ask the question, “Where is the promise of his coming ?” you would have us believe that it has failed, and you think you have reduced us to a dilemma, while you vaunt and scoff as if you had proved our' Lord an impostor, and demonstrated that our hopes are gone, and our all is lost. But you have proved no such thing. You may propose your question as often, and laugh as loud as you please; but this does not prove that he is an impostor, or deceives, or that we are credulous fools in believing his word. His promise has not failed, because he has not yet fulfilled it. He has not fixed the date when his promise was to receive its accomplishment: if he had, and that day had passed by, you might then have vaunted, and said, “ Where is the promise of his coming ?" You would then have had a right to have said, “ His word has failed.” But as it is, you only expose your own folly by scoffing at the promise of his coming. But you say, He promised to come quickly!--Yes, and whenever he comes, it will be found by all his enemies, that he has come quickly indeed. We must wait; but we and you should remember, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering ; not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. sneering objection then falls to the ground, as the Lord has not fixed the day of his arrival; and he may yet come and prove his word true. Don't laugh then, but wait, and prepare to meet
Your wit is misplaced. These are serious subjects, and ought to be treated in a serious manner, and will certainly deeply impress every serious mind. Eternity stares you in the face ; and your state and prospects beyond death and the grave, are forcibly urged home on your most serious attention. Unless these bore the stamp of faisehood, or were mere trifles to you, a contrary conduct to what you manifest is necessary in attending to them; but they certainly do not wear the stamp of falsehood, or if they do, you may shew it, as we cannot discern it; and they are assuredly, if they be realities, of the utmost consequence to you; here, especially, levity and indifference are quite out of place.
Your ridicule is premature, your boasting is certainly far too easy; you should wait awhile before you call the truth or certainty of his coming in question. It is necessary for you to do much more than you have yet done, before you are sate, continuing as you are. You must prove that he will never come, that there will be no future judgment, nor future misery: then, and not till then, you may go on and live as you please, and laugh at the consequences; but remember, the Lord hath shewn his ability, and demonstrated his determination to call you to a strict account, and inflict upon you the threatened punishment. That he is able to punish, and that he will certainly punish all the unbelieving and impenitent, is evident from what he has done already. He destroyed the old world, because of the wickedness of those who dwelt upon it, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly. He overwhelmed Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain, by fire from Heaven, on account of the crimes of their inhabitants; and the seven nations of Canaan were overthrown, the very land being sick of them, and vomiting them ont, because of their degeneracy. Do not say there are no proofs of these things :-the poets and historians of other nations attest the truth of these facts; besides that, they stand recorded in the Bible. But he who thus punished the ungodly, is the same God still, and hates iniquity as strongly as ever, and will certainly punish it. “ There is no peace, saith my God to the wicked.”.“ The wicked and unbelieving shall not escape, but shall go away into everlasting punishment.' When such a dreadful judgment awaits you, for which you are unprepared, and from which you cannot escape, why will you not take warning, and be persuaded to flee from the wrath to come? Your system misgives you in death, but the Christian hath hope in death. Do not drink that deadly soporific draught administered by modern philosophers, that death is eternal sleep: this would only be numb your senses, lull you asleep, and finally destroy you. Examine Christianity, weigh its evidences, and discovering it to be true, believe and live. Falkland.
REFLECTIONS ON ISAIAH LXVI. 3. They have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in
their abominations, In the abundance which has been written on the freedom of the will, very little has been deemed satisfactory. This general failure is attributable to a variety of causes; the difficulties neces. sarily connected with the subject, the rashness of some writers, the weakness of others, and the proneness of all to the educational bias they early received.